Right before the 2016-17 school year began, the fourteen State Schools heard word of a possible faculty union strike (APSCUF). Automatically talk began among students, parents and professors about what would happen if this strike were to happen.
The union is pushing for a fair negotiation with the State System. The State System’s current proposal is paving the way for more temporary faculty members to teach college level classes and limit the permanent faculty members. The State System is also looking to cut faculty health benefits and then charge them more for their benefits. Students from Bloomsburg University have been speaking out on behalf of our faculty:
APSCUF has one individual contract negotiated for the fourteen universities in the State System. The original vote for the strike took place on September 7th through the 9th. At the conclusion of the voting process, the vote was in favor of the strike.
On September 22nd the President of APSCUF, Ken Mash, announced the strike date for October 19, 2016. In The Voice, a Bloomsburg University run newspaper, a letter from Dr. Michael Martin, Asst. Professor of English included a quote from Mash. Mash said, “I would note in the 7+ years I have been here, this is the first time I have heard a specific date for a potential labor action, to that is a step further in the process than I have ever experienced. It is a step that concerns and frightens me also.”
The State System has posted updates within the past month to keep students up-to-date with what may potentially happen. The first update was released on August 23, 2016. The most recent update was released on September 27, 2016. The latest update included a student fact sheet and FAQ about possible faculty union strike.
While most of the media is focused on how the potential strike may affect faculty, it is important to look into how the students view the potential strike.
When speaking with Brooke Springborn, a senior at Kutztown University, she shared her knowledge on the strike, “I heard that if the strike goes on for two weeks then we have to redo the semester. As a senior, this is extremely discouraging because it sets us back not only with our education, but our lives. I can’t help but to think about this as a stressful and selfish action.”
Derek Miller, junior at Millersville University, “Millersville was my top choice going into college because of the programs and promises. I did not what to go to a university where I would be looked at as a number or where I would see a graduate student more than my decorated professor. I believe that the professors who are standing up to protest this right truly believe in Millersville promises and our student body.”
The strike date is set for October 19, 2016. Continual efforts towards at negotiation will be made up until this point.
Attached is a link to the State System’s updates: